Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes new Galaxy S20 camera leaks, Samsung confirms S20 release date, what ‘influencer ready’ means, OnePlus promising better video recording, Nokia’s MWC triple play, Huawei’s Google replacement will stay, Moto G Stylus images, and the phones that Android defeated.
Android Circuit is here to remind you of a few of the many things that have happened around Android in the last week (and you can find the weekly Apple news digest here).
Galaxy S20 Camera Bumps Leak
We’re less than two weeks away from Samsung unpacking its latest flagship handsets. First up in Android Circuit this week are some new pictures and details around the Galaxy S20 family and the potential peripherals that will accompany the retail units of the two higher-specced units. David Nield reports:
“We haven’t been short of leaks around the Samsung Galaxy S20 phones so far, but not many have been in such crisp quality as this one – we’ve now got a promo image showing off the camera bumps on the S20 Plus and the S20 Ultra.
“Posted by renowned tipster Evan Blass, the image also shows the upcoming Galaxy Buds Plus as well, and it looks as though they’ll be included for free with preorders of the two more expensive S20 phones.”
Galaxy S20 Release Date Confirmed
We also have a release date for the S20 handsets. Following the Unpacked events, pre-orders will begin, with shipping commencing just under one month later. Ben Schoon reports:
“The Samsung Galaxy S20 will be announced on February 11, but apparently, it won’t be available for a few weeks after that. As confirmed by Samsung’s own website, the current estimated shipping date for the S20 series is March 6, just shy of a month after the announcement.
“…It’s not unusual for Samsung to confirm the release date of its next smartphone this way, but it’s always a nice treat. If you want to get the Galaxy S20 the day it’s available, signing up for a reservation is the best way to do that.”
Our Best Look At The Galaxy Z Flip So Far
The ‘Samsung Unpacked’ event is likely to see the launch of Samsung’s second folding Galaxy phone, the Galaxy Z Flip. This week saw a significant number of photos and details leak, which helps set expectations before it is held aloft by Samsung Mobile’s new chief. Chaim Gartenberg reports:
“As expected, the Z Flip will feature a 6.7-inch, 22:9 aspect ratio foldable OLED display with an FHD+ (2636 x 1080) resolution. Unlike the Galaxy Fold, the new leak confirms that the Z Flip will feature an “Ultra Thin Glass” display, instead of the more fragile plastic panel that caused issues on the Fold. Like Samsung’s other recent phones, the Z Flip will feature a centrally located hole-punch camera on the inside for selfies. There’s also a second display on the outside: a 1.06-inch (300 x 116) OLED panel that can be used to tell the time and for displaying simple notifications.”
More at The Verge. Meanwhile, Samsung has managed to create a new buzz-worthy phrase to accompany the presumptively named Galaxy Z Flip. The Android-powered flip phone with the flexing screen is now… “influencer ready”. Reddit’s Android community is having fun with the term, which I’ll leave to Matt Evans to explain:
“The phone’s main camera is a dual-pixel 12MP camera with a 12Mp ultra-wide angle lens alongside it. The phone is said to be “influencer-ready” and designed particularly with Instagram in mind (right down to the square shape in closed mode). A 10MP selfie camera with voice control and auto focus adorns the face of the phone while in open “media mode”. It’s said to be capable of taking video in stunning 4K from either rear or front camera.”
OnePlus’ Promise To Address Shooting Video
Following on from the Open Ears Forum, OnePlus has taken on board a number of considerations around shooting video on OnePlus hardware, with the Shenzhen-based company ready to address these issues during 2020. Damien Wilde reports:
“The Chinese firm has committed to improving several core areas of the video experience on its entire product line and upcoming product lines. The most notable were the promises to improve exposure and white balance levels, skin-tone consistency, and multiple camera lens support.”
A Triple Play Of Nokia?
What does HMD Global have planned for the Nokia brand at MWC Barcelona later in February? It looks like three new handsets are being prepared to roll on across Europe and the BRIC countries. Marin Ordulj reports:
“The same source said that Nokia Mobile is planning to postpone the announcement of the Original series Nokia phone for MWC where it will be accompanied by Nokia 1.3, Nokia 5.2 and Nokia 8.2 5G. The final names of the phones are yet to be confirmed, but he said that these models can be expected in Barcelona.”
Huawei’s Google Replacement Is Here To Stay
Huawei continues to work on its replacement of the Google Mobile Service package, which is currently not available due to Huawei’s inclusion on the US Entity List. The Chinese-based company may regain access, but this ‘single point of failure’ is the reason that it will continue to work on the Huawei Mobile Service package. Manuel Vonai reports:
“Huawei’s Austrian country manager Fred Wangfei says the company wants to get rid of its dependence on US politics, as no one could tell if there would be another blockade following the current one. That’s why the manufacturer’s stated goal is the creation of a third smartphone ecosystem next to Android and iOS.
“In both the long and short term, Huawei wants its version of Android to stay as close as possible to Google’s to burden app developers with little to no additional work.”
A Stylus With Your Moto?
It looks like a racing certainty that one of the upcoming Moto handsets will come with a stylus. The presumptively named Moto G Stylus is close to flagship status, but the 6 series Snapdragon should see it near the top of the mid-range market… depending on the complexity of the stylus. Sai Krishna reports:
“The smartphone is tipped to flaunt a 6.3/6.4-inch display, presumably with a Full HD+ resolution. It will be powered by the Snapdragon 6-series chipset coupled with 4GB RAM and 128GB storage that will be further expandable. The handset is likely to pack a 4,000mAh battery and have fast-charging support. It has a curved back and seems to have a polycarbonate build. The Stylus functionality and placement is something that remains to be seen when it goes official.”
Android has, since its launch, seen of many challengers to be the mobile operating system of choice, with some big names including BlackBerry 10, Firefox OS, Tizen, WebOS, and Windows 10 Mobile trying to challenge Google’s dominance. Phillip Prado looks at the failed competition:
“Some of these offerings paved the way for Android as we know it today, inspiring some of the platform’s future features and design language. Others came to the party a little too late and found the challenge to establish a competitive mobile platform was too difficult. Though there were plenty of other would-be Android alternatives that arose over the course of the decade, here we’re presenting the rise and fall of a few of the best and most notable.”
All that’s left is iOS. More at Android Authority.
Android Circuit rounds up the news from the Android world every weekend here on Forbes. Don’t forget to follow me so you don’t miss any coverage in the future, and of course read the sister column in Apple Loop! Last week’s Android Circuit can be found here, and if you have any news and links you’d like to see featured in Android Circuit, get in touch!